Why It's A Smart Idea to Develop Your Defenses and Escapes FIRST

In this video, I talk about what should always be a priority for you in your training, and why it's a good idea to develop your escapes and defenses first.

You will learn...

  • Why you should train escapes and defenses first to reach the highest levels of skill in the shortest time possible 
  • The critical psychological advantage you gain when you become confident in your escapes and defenses [1:50] 
  • How developing your defenses and escapes will help you hold more dominant positions more regularly 
  • The secret weapon you’ll develop as a result of having solid defenses and escapes that will help every part of your game, weather you’re on the offensive and defensive. [3:44] 
  • How becoming proficient in escapes and defenses helps you to use less strength and conserve more energy, becoming relaxed in everything you do. [4:04] 
  • The one thing you need to know to be able to have confidence no matter who your opponent is [5:20] 
  • Why defenses and escapes...
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How the BIGGEST Boxing Match of all time was WON using Jiu-Jitsu Part 1

In August of 2017 the world got to witness one of the most incredible sporting events of all time.  A clash of superstars from 2 different combat sports met in a boxing ring in Las Vegas for what was arguably the biggest boxing event of all time.  Conor McGregor the 2 division champion in the UFC with impressive knockout wins over the 145lb champion Jose Aldo and the 155lb champion Eddie Alverez took on Floyd Mayweather Jr, the greatest boxer of this generation and arguably of all time.

This event was the most hyped sporting event of 2017.  Although many people did not give Conor McGregor a chance, never having fought a pro boxing fight before and fighting someone many consider one of the greatest of all time, he had a lot of factors to his advantage coming into the fight.  Conor was definitely the bigger, stronger and younger fighter.  Floyd was coming off a 2 year retirement and being 40 years old acknowledged that he was feeling the effects of his years...

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Your Natural Instincts Will Get You KO'd In A Fight

 

I had a few of my HJJ Mind Blown Club members send me video clips of the final match from the EBI Combat Jiu-Jitsu tournament where Vagnar Rocha tko'd 10th planet stand out Nathan Orchard with slaps from the mount position.

I've shared a post and video about this before but thought it would be helpful to share another video with a write up explaining why our natural reaction to dealing with strikes from the mount is one of the worst things we can do.

In fighting and MMA the mount is probably the most devastating position to strike from because the person on the bottom is not able to close distance, back away or create an angle to stay safe from strikes and the person on top can come down with the help of gravity and bodyweight with punches and elbows at countless angles to deal a massive amount of damage.

There's a reason in all of Rickson's fights he gets on top and mounts. With nowhere to move, many times the person on the bottom is left to try to use their arms to protect them...

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Training to Be Strong Everywhere

I once asked Rickson, what he felt was the weakest part of his game and it wasn't so much his answer that surprised me but his explanation that made a tremendous impact in how I still train myself to this day.

He told me he has no weaknesses in his game, he's trained all the weaknesses out so that anywhere the fight goes he’s comfortable.  He explained to me anytime he felt like one area of his game was weaker than the others he would work on it until he felt completely comfortable there.

I apply this principle to my training to this day.

I love training Jiu-Jitsu, and although just “rolling” is fun, it's not the type of training I really do to help my game improve. For me rolling is better for getting a workout and although there will still be some improvement over time, it's is not as beneficial for me as focusing on a specific aspect of my game to develop.

When I'm focusing on improving my Jiu-Jitsu, I usually ask myself what part of my game do I currently...

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Jiu Jitsu Journey Interview with Henry Akins by Shawn Mozen

Here is one of the latest interviews I did with Shawn Mozen, founder and CEO of Agatsu.

Shawn is one of the foremost authorities in kettlebell training in the world and a lifelong martial artist.  He found out about me and Hidden Jiu-Jitsu from a Faceobook ad and I was lucky enough to have him come by Dynamix MMA and train for a few days while he was visiting in Los Angeles.

We talked a little about the site, my ideas on jiu-jitsu and I shared with him some basic ideas and adjustments to make some techniques more effective.

In this video we review some details on why framing on the bottom doesn't always work and another option.

We also reviewed a couple examples of how normal BJJ training can leave you wide open to be hit and the small changes that can implement in your training that can keep you safe from strikes.  The styles do blend together.
To check out all the amazing fitness and strength and conditioning stuff Shawn does go here http://www.agatsu.com/

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The biggest lessons I learned from Rickson on how to train to get better at Jiu-Jitsu

"The training is all in your mind!"

For a long time in my training like most people I always thought I had to train with the best and the toughest guys to improve and get better.  Then one day after talking with Rickson I realized my strategy for how to get the most out of my training was all wrong.

You see, I witnessed first hand so many times Rickson training with the current world champion of whatever year and whatever weight and absolutely annihilate them.  Many times after the training the black belt would say "they have never experienced anything like that" OR "they felt like an absolute white belt training with Rickson".  I would see him tap guys effortlessly multiple times in a 5 minute training session.  These were guys who were winning the Mundials submitting everyone in their division.  Many of these legendary greats, Fabio Gurgel, Saulo, Xande, Fabio Leopoldo, Paulo Filho, Renzo Gracie, have all talked about their experience training with...

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Why You Should ALWAYS Go To Jiu Jitsu Class, Especially When You CAN'T Train.

The details are in the deep understanding of Jiu Jitsu.

People ask me a lot of times for advice on how to improve quicker at jiu-jitsu.  I was one of fastest black belt under Rickson Gracie.  I started training in 1995 and within 6 months I had my blue belt.  A year and a half after that (2 years total) I was a purple, and got my brown belt in 2000, in 5 years, that is with taking a year off because I had blown out both my knees in a competition my first day as a purple belt.  I ended up getting my black belt in 2004.  (the story of why it took me so long to go from brown to black belt is a great story with many lessons for another article!) It was never a race for me, in fact, I never really wanted or cared about getting belts, the only reason I mention the timeline is to give people an idea of how my teacher, who was considered to have extremely high standards, acknowledged my progress.

I was really blessed with my circumstances when I started...

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Can you be a complete martial artist only learning Jiu-Jitsu?

I remember one of my first exposures to Jiu-Jitsu was watching Royce Gracie fight in UFC 1 back in 1993 (a few months before that I had seen an old grainy vhs copy of a copy of Gracie in Action 1 and 2 so I knew who the Gracie family were and  who Royce was).  All of the competitors in the event were decorated competitors in their respective martial art, skilled martial artists.  The UFC back in those days was a tournament style, no weight limit, no time limit, bare knuckle fight. The only rules were no biting, and no eye gouging.  All else was allowed.  In those days the UFC really was "As Real As It Gets" except you had to fight 3 game opponents in one night to "win".  Royce Gracie won the first event in under 5 minutes dispatching Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau barely taking a hit.  After seeing the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in action again, I knew I had to figure out a way to learn the art.  A year and a half later...

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What was your biggest breakthrough in your Jiu Jitsu training?

I got asked this question the other day and I really had to put quite a bit of thought into it. I've had zillions of breakthroughs in training just like everyone else.  Sometimes it relates to a specific technique, a way to escape, a moment something is available to attack or just a concept and idea.  But I think something that I have been constantly reminded of recently in life and something that has had the greatest impact in my training the last few years is this.

The more relaxed and less strength I use the more effective my jiu-jitsu can become.  

I know all our instructors have tried to beat this idea into our heads from day one but it's one thing to hear it and something completely different to experience it.  The first time I had actually experienced this was when I was a purple belt almost 18 years ago.  I was just getting back on the mats from taking almost a year off from training because I had blown out both my knees in a tournament. ...

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Becoming A Great Jiu Jitsu Teacher

I've been teaching jiu-jitsu now for over 17 years. I'm so passionate about jiu-jitsu and the positive effect it has in peoples lives that I'm constantly trying to improve and become a better teacher so I can serve others better. I've had a lot of people ask me about teaching so I just wanted to share my thoughts on what I think makes someone a great teacher.

First to define what a teacher is we have to define teaching. Teaching is the ability to transfer ideas and information from one person to another.

A great teacher is someone who can convey their thoughts and information to others in a way where it makes it easy or simple to absorb. There are many people out there who are amazing at jiu-jitsu but do not have the ability to articulate the information in a way so that it becomes clear to others.

A great teacher must posses a wide range and depth of knowledge. For myself as an instructor it is very important for me to not only understand the ground techniques of jiu-jitsu but also...

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